Let's get the famous story out of the way first. Everyone 'knows' that ballpoints didn't work in space, without gravity, so the Americans spent millions of dollars to develop a special pressurised ballpoint that did work in space. The Russians just used a pencil. Well, not really.
The Americans and Russians both used pencils. Paul Fisher, an inventer and pen maker, developed the pressurised refill, creating the 'Space Pen'. Then both the Americans and the Russians bought them from him and used them in space. Graphite is conductive, so snapped off bits of lead were considered a bit of a safety hazard floating around in a space capsule, so they were glad of a good alternative.
Oh, and standard ballpoint pens do work, and astronauts do sometimes use them, they're just not as reliable in zero gravity and extreme temperatures.
But Paul Fisher's Space Pen was reliable in these conditions, which makes it useful in all sorts of conditions, not just in space. They'll write better on damp paper, and greasy or dusty paper. They'll cope better in freezing conditions or excessively warm conditions. They have a much longer shelf life than standard ballpoints, too. They're just more reliable here on Earth, as well as in space.
The Clutch is a chunky pen with a large hexagonal grip and a strong, practical clip. It was designed for the needs of the oil field industry, so it was made tough, easy to operate through gloves, and they made it black. Not sure why on that part - surely it'll get lost easily against the black oil? Maybe these oil people just really like black things, or maybe they're actually looking for oil in a range of more fashionable colours now, and they're just not going to tell us until they can successfully refine neon pink petrol. That'll be a nice surprise at the garage one day.
137mm long, 11mm wide. Weighs 32g.
|Advance Mechanism:||Retractable, Push-Button|
|Ink Type:||Pressurised Ink|
|Item Material:||Aluminium, Metal|
|Refill Type:||Pen Refill|
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